What is it about flaws that gets our attention? What makes us notice our imperfections? What standards or norms are we comparing ourselves or others with?
One cliché that still resonates today is that nobody is perfect. Now, when that’s said, we are normally referring to some undesirable behavior, fault, or failure. Allow me to suggest that this is woven into the fabric of our human culture and perhaps our human nature. It seems that we actively search for what’s not perfect. Our internal radar picks up on defects, especially what we suppose are our own and what we perceive others to have. We notice what we think is wrong or out of the ordinary. Have you ever heard or made any of the following comments about someone or something being too short, too tall, too skinny, too fat, too little, too big, too young, too old, too rich, too poor, too clean, too dirty, too bright, too dark, too much or not enough of this or that? I have. Somehow, we categorize our flaws.
I definitely have some “flaws” about myself personally that I could point out and perhaps most people do. One big one that I have is basically what’s been projected on to me, and that is that I am short or height challenged. (If you have seen me, then you may be saying that’s true. It’s okay if you agree.) It has been said so much to me, almost every single day, that I began to say it about myself. I am short, but am I too short? I don’t know. The way I once flipped this fact was to say that short people help tall people to know they are tall.
But I digress.
Where do these comparisons originate? Who knows for sure? But my speculation would be that it comes from our own thoughts, from what we have seen, from what we have heard, from public opinion, and perhaps even from research and data. Are we supposed to be perfect?
I think our awareness of our imperfections or inadequacies makes us aware of perhaps our greatest flaw.
Mankind, (men, women, and children alike), is categorically flawed because of his/our sinfulness. (Romans 3:23 (NIV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”). I am yet to discover one prominent biblical character in Scripture who was not unquestionably flawed outside of Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Noah became drunk. Abram lied about his wife Sarai being his sister out of fear. Jacob was a schemer. The Israelites repeatedly rebelled against God by way of worshipping idol gods. Moses killed a man. Eli honored his sinful sons over God by failing to deal with their sins that he knew about. David impregnated another man’s wife and had him killed. Peter denied Jesus three times. Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead.
The Scripture testifies that we are all flawed or sinful (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:3). So, it follows that there is not one great historical person or group or country or nation that was not categorically flawed. People are flawed. Now, it’s easy to list the flaws of others, what she did, he did, or they did, but what we somehow have blinders about is what we did or what we do personally. I hate that we are flawed, that people are sinful and for believers, deliberately sinful.
Now, according to 1 John 2:15 – 17, our flaws or sins can be classified categorically: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, or the pride of life (1 John 2:15 – 17). Just name any sin and not just the obvious ones, and the flaws can be readily identified and placed under one of these headings.
The greatest flaw may very well be narcissism, the idolatry of self, which is the idea that man attempts to equate himself with God by living his or her own “truth.” Why do we do this? It’s perplexing. Because of God’s presence in us as the Holy Spirit, such sin or rebellion against our loving God should grieve us, and not just the sin of others but our own sinfulness.
The miracle of all of this is that God still manages to work through people to fulfill His purpose. Consider Moses, he led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the desert, but he himself was not permitted to enter the Promised Land because of his flaw (Numbers 20:8 – 12). Moses was God’s servant and the exodus that he led was a prelude to our greatest exodus. God sent His one and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from our flaws. Jesus Christ is the only one who fully compensated and still compensates, as our intercessor, for our flaws (Romans 3:24 (NIV) “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”).
Ephesians 2:4 – 7 (NIV)
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with
Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been
saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly
realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the
incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
God gives us ways to repent or turn away from our sins and to return to Him. Thankfully, God loves us despite our flaws. He sent His Son to do for us what we, and I mean all of us, past, present, and future, could not and cannot do for ourselves. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10); please allow this paraphrase: Jesus came to seek and to save the categorically flawed. He died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). And He did this once for all (Hebrews 10:10). After He ascended to glory, He didn’t leave us powerless. God has given us Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit to help us and to keep us.
Thank you for applying your perfection to our flaws.
Thank you for loving us so much.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Knowing what God has made possible for us should help us to love Him more sincerely and to see people differently and to love them even more as we love ourselves in spite of our categorical flaws.